Paxton/Patterson Blog

Helpful information about STEM education and CTE programs

Got Grit? Contest Winners Fabricate Roller Caps

by Peter 12. December 2018 12:01

November Congrats Blog 

Owen and Carter, demonstrated that they've Got Grit

Got Grit? Contest winners, Owen and Carter, challenged themselves to fix the district poster making machine, with instructor, Josh Ames, at Central Junior High School. The team had to precisely measure and fabricate new roller caps. It took much trial and error, 3D printed parts failed and technical drawings had to be revised.

Have you Got Grit? Enter the contest.

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Tags: STEM Learning Systems, Got Grit? STEM education, college and career ready, school counselors

Got Grit? Self-Propelled Boat Engineer Does

by Peter 18. December 2017 08:27

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Hunter Wright, demonstrated that he’s Got Grit

Hunter had to overcome many challenges while engineering a self-propelled boat, at South Lee High School, with instructor, Martin Bryant. His 3D printed design did not completely print and leaked. The boat would shift to the right and motor mount modifications were required. A custom switch was needed for consistent electrical connection and the boat was dramatically off balance during testing.

Have you Got Grit? Enter the contest.

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Tags: STEM Learning Systems, Got Grit? STEM education, college and career ready, school counselors

CO2 Dragster 3D Challenge

by Peter 20. September 2016 08:28

Paxton/Patterson Learning


CO2 Dragster 3D Challenge

Why not take your next CO2 dragster project to the next level with an extreme challenge? Ask students to completely fabricate their cars with custom 3D printed designs. If your classroom doesn’t already have CAD software, there are basic free versions available online to create STL files – used for 3D printing.

Can You Create a Faster Dragster?

3D Printed CO2 Dragster

Students should begin with the size and shape of a CO2 cartridge. They will need to design a dragster that accurately holds the CO2 cartridge in place during the race. The rest of the rules are up to you. Is there a size requirement? Do they need to utilize four wheels? Do the wheels have to be 3D printed?

This real-world lesson can incorporate drafting, engineering, fabrication, the Laws of Motion and countless other useful skills.

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Tags: 3D Printing Dragsters, CO2 Dragster Competition, STEM Learning Systems, STEM Education

STEM Takes Language Arts to Mars

by Peter 23. August 2016 06:59

STEM and Language Arts?

Alien Animation

Paxton/Patterson is helping teachers incorporate Language Arts into STEM, with a project that is out of this world. In Computer Graphics and Animation, students create a stop motion animation to communicate an important message – like the dangers of texting while driving. In this example, two aliens are driving a Mars rover while distracted with a cell phone. They do not notice the cliff edge, the warning signs or the shark that is swimming in the water below the cliff. Did you know there are sharks on Mars? There are, if you let your imagination run wild. That’s one of the great benefits of this STEM Learning Systems activity. Students are encouraged to be creative and have fun while utilizing technology. It’s a wonderful blend of resources that allow teachers to cover a wide range of traditional subjects.

For more information about Computer Graphics and Animation please visit www.paxtonpatterson.com/actionlabs-overview.aspx

Tags: STEM Learning Systems, STEM and Language Arts, student animation project, fun STEM Project, STEM Education

STEM - STEW

by Peter 28. June 2016 10:07

Strategies That Engage Minds

Lead To

Strategies That Engage Women


Northside High School Advanced Applied STEM Academy Tower students

The combination of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is commonly referred to as S.T.E.M., however at Northside High School and the Advanced Applied S.T.E.M. Academy, it has another meaning. Director, Kari Cobb, focuses on Strategies-That-Engage-Minds, and those strategies are proving very effective at engaging a large number of diverse female students. 31.68% of students are female.

Female STEM Students

The Academy utilizes the Paxton/Patterson S.T.E.M. programs CareerPlus and CareerPlus 2. With these technology and engineering programs, students take the driver’s seat and Kari takes on the role of coach, mentor, and facilitator. “You can see a difference in these students,” She explains. “They come in asking questions like How do I solve this? What do you want me to do? What’s the answer?  Then after about a week or so of work in the labs, they stop asking and start doing and discovering. We want them to work in teams to find the best solution verses the right answer. Not all of the solutions work right away, but these students have grit. They persevere through challenges that many didn’t believe they would be able to overcome when they first started the class. That's engaging! I believe it is the reason we get such great participation from a wide range of students.”

Tags: STEM Learning Systems, STEM Education, high-demand degrees, stem careers, Paxton/Patterson News